Archive | October, 2011

33.

21 Oct

Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  ~Mark Twain

And I hardly mind. I’ve always enjoyed getting older.

Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.  ~Author Unknown

Truer words have never been spoken. No premature gray hairs will change the pure privilege to still be here, and I’ve been graying since 14, so it’s really all good.

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.  ~Caryn Leschen

Two years to go! Woo hoo!

The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible.  ~Judith Regan

Yes, but I do enjoy reminding Mother that that particular day was, by far, the best day of her natural life. I won’t comment on whether she agrees with me.

At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment.  ~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Still in the decade of wit. To wit, thank you.

Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips.  ~Attributed to John Wagner

I wasn’t blessed with hips, so I’ll keep indulging. (Shut up, belly. No one solicited your opinion.)

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.  ~Zora Neale Hurston

These are the answer years. Couldn’t say that at 25.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  ~Henry Ford

And I dare anyone to tell me when they stopped learning.

Lastly…

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.  ~John Barrymore

Let’s continue dreaming, shall we?

The Male Mystique.

17 Oct

I don’t get them. Males. Guys. Men. Boys. I admit this openly and plainly.

Scenario #3,056: A guy laughs at your silly jokes. He actually listens to you. He marvels at all the things you have in common. He accompanies you to a movie or two. He visibly enjoys being in your company. He generally makes you feel like the Prime Ministress of Awesome. Your spidey sense pulls at you. You wonder if something is afoot. You get that weird, tingly feeling around him (which is not impending cardiac arrest, apparently). You realize that you look forward to being around him all the time. Quite naturally, then (and it is natural, because this is how women are: you notice something and you want to talk about it), you take a deep breath and decide to approach him about what you’ve noticed, a bit excited about it, hopeful, not ignorant of the signs.

And he shatters it all. 

Hey, I’m sorry if you thought this was something more. We’re just friends. I’m not ready for that. 

Scenario #5,000,001: A guy laughs at your silly jokes. He actually listens to you. He marvels at all the things you have in common. He accompanies you to a movie or two. He visibly enjoys being in your company. He generally makes you feel like the Prime Ministress of Awesome. Your spidey sense pulls at you. You wonder if something is afoot. You get that weird, tingly feeling around him (which is not impending cardiac arrest, apparently). You realize that you look forward to being around him all the time. Quite naturally, then (and it is natural, because this is how women are: you notice something and you want to talk about it), you take a deep breath and decide to approach him about what you’ve noticed, a bit excited about it, hopeful, not ignorant of the signs. However, you decide against approaching him, not wanting to somehow disturb the force, not wanting to ruin whatever this is. You rather hope that as it goes on, he will take the initiative and come to you to discuss what he’s noticed.

And he shatters it all.

Hey, I would love for you to meet my fiance. Are you free this evening?  

Friendly Advice #718: You shouldn’t have said anything. You should have waited for him to come to you.

Friendly Advice #3: You should have said something. You shouldn’t have waited for him to come to you.

Do you see? Isn’t it obvious why I live in utter confusion? How does one muddle through the whole Math class feel of the menfolk and relationships and the whole silliness of platonic and whether to accept that I don’t even have this level of communication or constancy with my closest friend, but I do with you, but we’re just pals, and that makes no sense, and oh, but you do have feelings for me, but how would I have known because you didn’t say anything and oh, ok, you were waiting for the right time, which was a year later, when I’ve grown cobwebs and bitten my entire nail bed from the anxiety of it all, and…and…

When I was in college, I waited until the last minute to fulfill my Math prerequisite. Not for a lack of trying, but none of the classes were working for me and the beauty of college was walking out of class whenever I wanted, which I certainly took advantage of when it came to Math. Nevertheless, if I wanted to graduate, I needed that credit. I went to my advisor, who highly recommended a professor with a long record of helping students like me. I went to his class, convinced that it wouldn’t work, not for someone who had struggled and fought with Math for so long. I had no expectations of passing or getting it. Oh, but it did work. And I did pass. And I did get it. Even better, it was one of the best classes I ever took. Why? I understood what he was teaching, solely because he made sure that his students knew how to get to the answer. Patiently. And that’s how I learn. Everything fell into the place, once I knew how to get there. I passed with an A, by the way, in case you wondered why pigs were flying in 2000.

My point in relating that Mathy blast from the past can be summed up by something a friend once told me: “[Girley], when you find that right person, it won’t be confusing. You won’t have to guess. Everything will fall into place.”

Contingency Plan #1 and Only: until we reach Everything Falling Into Place, I’m intent on taking everything at face value. Whatever it is, it is. (Or will be, will be.) I will ask no questions. I will do no guesswork. I won’t ask random strangers if that twinkle in his eye was meant for me. No phone call, no hanging out, no nothin’, will mean anything until whoever he is tells me exactly how he feels. (That’s right, folks, he has to tell me. May be old-fashioned, but that’s me, unapologetically.) If it’s right, it’s right, and things will fall into place. 

Until then, I can’t allow the Male/Relationship Mystique to make me crazy (well, crazier). I refuse to continue to pull out my hair over these affairs of the heart.

if you can make it here…you’ll be trapped, and you don’t want that.

13 Oct

Lovely, isn’t it? That skyline, those tall, majestic buildings, the whole island thing.

But it’s not. It’s not lovely. It’s dirty, and impersonal, and smelly/stinky, and there are rats and roaches everywhere, and it’s…it’s…

I have fallen out of love with New York City.

My love began when I was eight years old, when my family emigrated to the Americas as a family, leaving Ghana behind and ready to embark on a brand new life in the States. After a flight from Ghana with a memorable night’s stay in Holland (I still remember!), we landed in New York. I recall gazing out of the window as we hurtled down the street in my uncle’s car, amazed by all the sights and sounds and people and colors. What was this curious new place? Where did it come from? My little mind was sweetly blown.

The love of the city began there. It didn’t stop after we moved to Suburbia Place, Somewheres, VA, either. As a family, we came back and visited whenever we could; we did the tourist thing and went to the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center (still can’t believe it), the Empire State Building, etc., etc. As I got older, I returned on my own, more times than I can count. Ultimately, my little sis moved to the Big City, which provided even more viable reasons to frequently visit. Bottom line: I was still eight years old and I was still awed by NYC.

Not anymore. Backstory: I just returned from a 7-day trip to NYC with a bunch of friends as part of a tour group that a mutual friend planned (5 days with the tour group, 2 with my sis). We went to the Met, we hung out and met new friends, we took a harbor cruise with a tour guide who provided quite a bit of interesting information about the city (my inner history geek collapsed from the sheer joy/future wins at Trivial Pursuit of it all), we took tons of pics, so on and so forth. Those parts were fine. Enjoyable.

The other parts: commuting by way of the subway, which is arguably the grossest, most disgusting place this side of Planet Earth; gazing at the vacant, uninterested demeanors of the people that live in the city (are they dead inside? How can anyone appear so empty?); hearing the foul-mouthed conversations of the other people that live in the city (seriously, did no New Yorker learn how to communicate without using the foulest language ever known?); being shoved and pushed and accused of hitting a woman’s child with my purse (yeah, there were 1,000 people shoved in one train car. It wasn’t intentional, Madam); standing on feet that were burning against the rough, cement ground; Newark, New Jersey (no explanation necessary); it went on and on. I honestly wanted to scream. Each day carved away at my love of the city. I was becoming utterly put off and eventually, I was over it.

Maybe it was because I was there for an extended period of time. Maybe it was because I wasn’t just in Manhattan (tourist heaven), but in Brooklyn and nearby in “the Garden State” (yeah, right) of New Jersey. Maybe it was because I was sampling the day-to-day of living in the city. Maybe it was because I was realizing that it wasn’t the Emerald City of my youth. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I don’t know. I do know that off came the rose-colored glasses, and on came the countdown until my exit from the city. I’m home now and it’s blissful.

Will I return? As long as the sis is there, yes. Will I leave her apartment while I’m there? Absolutely not. Yes, I plan on going hardcore Howard Hughes on NYC when I happen to return. Sorry, Lincoln Center, Fifth Avenue, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, and the rest. Sorry, lovely Brooklyn brownstones that housed the Huxtables. You’re not enough for me anymore. Goodbye and good night.

Ending on a downer? I won’t. I have to say that during the main part of the trip, we got to go to a Poetry Show. In short, I was moved, inspired, amazed, touched, provoked by endless ruminating and thoughts. It was pretty incredible. By the end of it, I appreciated the fact that yes, I’m a poet. I have constantly resisted this title, as discussed here before, believing that my purposes for writing poetry, that of catharsis and getting it all off my chest, meant that I was just somewhat adept at a few lines and a few haikus. Hardly a poet. And with my strengths lying more in fiction and prose, I was even less of a poet. Well, no, thank you. I’m a poet, too. So there, self. The show was one of the other, few enjoyable parts of the trip. (We’re keeping it real negative, aren’t we?)

For my readers: have you had this experience? Have you fallen out of love with a place or thing?

BJ & FE SCOTT

...LIVING THE BEST LIFE EVER!

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